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1: SERVICE

We serve too.

Strength, perseverance, and sacrifice are words we associate with our troops. And these are the same traits we see in military teens. They send care packages to their military parent when they are fighting overseas. They take on new tasks when situations change in their families. They grow up with a sense of community and service to country.

“Being a military kid teaches you to be strong.”

Although they do it for their family, they’re also sustaining their service member for America. Celebrate their achievements. Recognize their efforts to the country. Use these strategies as an opportunity to empower all youth and the powerful contributions they can make in their communities:

  • Celebrate the Month of the Military Child in April. A month of celebration in recognition of the children of service members for the daily sacrifices they make in supporting their military loved ones.
  • Support legislation that provides new opportunities for military youth.
  • Make military teens feel welcome when they move to your neighborhood
  • Listen to their concerns and discuss their worries.
  • Show your appreciation for their family’s service by getting involved. 
  • Along with offering a simple “thank you” to the service members and their families, you can offer to take a responsibility off of their hands, become a pen pal, or volunteer to organize a care package shipment to deployed soldiers.
  • Download a copy of the National Military Family Association’s  Military Child Bill of Rights at www.MilitaryFamily.org/BillofRights and use it as a guide to support military teens you know.
  • Tell them you’re proud of them. Sometimes they just need to hear that they’re doing a great job for their family and their country.

Resources:

Information about Month of the Military Child can be found at www.eu.dodea.edu/features/080401_militaryChild.php.

Military Child Education Coalition at www.militarychild.org.

Operation Military Kids – visit www.operationmilitarykids.org.

Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Youth of the Year Program – BGCA members are recognized for overcoming obstacles and making outstanding contributions to their school, family and community at www.bgca.org/YOY.

Our Military Kids - activity grants for children of deployed National Guard or Reserve service members and those of the wounded at www.omk.org.